Labour’s water tax

NBR reports:

leader Jacinda Ardern announced at the EDS conference today the party will tax commercial users of , including farmers, saying “Labour says everyone owns water.”

The party’s proposal will capture bottling companies and irrigation schemes but excludes hydro-power companies. 

A very dangerous policy. Labour have decided that the only people who will pay the tax are industries they don’t like. If there is to be a charge on water (and there is a case for a tradeable permit system) then it needs to cover everyone, not just Labour’s pet hates.

The money collected would go toward Treaty settlements and any remainder be directed to local governments.

So a tax on farmers for treaty settlements!

Ms Ardern would not be drawn on what the rate would be, saying it would be “fair.”

Fair means as high as they can get away with.

Federated Farmers has come out swinging this afternoon, saying farming families are “terrified” by the potential impacts of Labour’s policy.

The group’s spokesman Chris Allen says the 10c a litre figure that had been bandied around would bankrupt farmers and cripple New Zealand’s export competitiveness and its regional economies.  

Ms Ardern has said the figure won’t be 10c though didn’t give a figure. 

Mr Allen says one thousandth of that figure, “if that’s a level Labour has in mind, would be eye-watering given the volume of water use.”

Rural NZ should be terrified. At present they have permits for 4.7 million cubic metres of water which is 4.7 billion litres.

So at even 0.1c per litre that is a $500 million a year tax just on farmers. At 1 c per litre it would be $5 billion a year.

So far Labour have announced a water tax and a petrol tax. Still very much tax and spend.

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